Vote Now! Iconic Photos - 50 Years of Human Spaceflight

Cold War and Cosmonaut Dove

S.P. Korolev RSC "Energia"

Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space during the April 12, 1961 flight of Vostok 1. Here, he holds a dove in an undated image released by Russia's Federal Space Agency.

Challenger Accident


At 78 seconds after liftoff, this image shows Challenger's left wing, main engines (still burning residual propellant) and the forward fuselage (crew cabin).

Aldrin at Tranquility Base


Astronaut and Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin with the LR-3, the only Apollo experiment that is still returning data from the moon.

STS-71 at Russia's Mir Space Station

Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) via NASA

Cosmonauts Anatoliy Y. Solovyev and Nikolai M. Budarin, Mir-19 commander and flight engineer, respectively, temporarily unparked the Soyuz spacecraft from the cluster of Mir elements to perform a brief fly-around.

Balancing Act Onboard Skylab


Astronaut Gerald P. Carr, commander of the Skylab 4 mission, balances Astronaut William R. Pogue, pilot, upside down on his finger.

Shower on Skylab 2


Astronaut Charles Conrad, Jr., Skylab 2 commander, enjoys a bath in the shower facility of the Orbital Workshop of Skylab 2 space station.

Endeavor Departs the ISS


The International Space Station recedes in the distance as the Space Shuttle Endeavour departs from the station. Endeavour's vertical stabilizer and orbital maneuvering system pods are visible as the STS-118 mission winds down on Aug. 19, 2007.

Welcome to the Space Station


Astronaut Peggy Whitson (right), Expedition 16 commander, shakes hands with astronaut Pam Melroy, STS-120 commander, after Space Shuttle Discovery docked at the International Space Station on Oct. 25, 2007.

International Space Station Construction Continues over New Zealand


Astronaut Robert L. Curbeam Jr. (left) and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang, continue construction of the International Space Station during the STS-116 mission, Dec. 12, 2006. Below, New Zealand's North and South Islands sit in the Tasman Sea.

Skylab 4


The U.S. space station Skylab in its prime during the mid-1970s.

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